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September 8, 2012

Zach Martin

Notre Dame – 20
Purdue – 17

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Zack Martin.

Q.  Did you think that Purdue's defensive line was as good as they were today?  Was the expectation for them to be as big of a challenge as they were today?
ZACK MARTIN:  Yeah, absolutely.  We watched tape on them.  They had a lot of the same guys, pretty much every guy they had last year back.  We knew they were going to be better than last year.
They gave us a tough game.  Hats off to them.  They gave us some challenges all day with different looks.  They played very hard.
We definitely expected them to come out and play like that.

Q.  Was there any reaction from the offense when Tommy came out for that last drive?
ZACK MARTIN:  Yeah, I mean, we knew Tommy was ready when his number was called.  Two‑minute drill, Tommy coming in doing exactly what we knew he was capable of, took command of the offensive line, ultimately led us down the field for that winning field goal.

Q.  Did you hear the crowd booing Tommy?
ZACK MARTIN:  I don't agree with that at all.  A guy like Tommy, it just fuels his fire.  He's been through a lot.  I'm so proud of him and so happy for him that he was able to answer the bell today and lead us down the field.

Q.  Was it obvious right from the outset that they were going to stack the line of scrimmage and make you play a different game from what you did last week?
ZACK MARTIN:  Right.  You know, we game planned against that.  We knew they were going to load the box.  If they were going to do that, we were going to put the ball in No.5's hand.
First snap they come out seven‑man front.  Immediately we're into that that kind of mindset.  We prepared for that all week.

Q.  Can you emphasize the importance of the third‑down conversions, keeping the offense out on the field.
ZACK MARTIN:  As far as protection, our offensive line groups always talks about people are going to kind of judge you on situations, obvious pass, obvious front.  Today we were able to, although we didn't protect great all day, on third down we were able to bite down on our mouth guards and hold 'em.

Q.  Last week the attention to detail, no penalties.  What would you attribute the penalties to today?
ZACK MARTIN:  I had a bad one early.  I take responsibility for that.  A couple of our guys had some bad ones.  It's lack of focus, getting too emotional at the beginning of the game, stuff like that.

Q.  Anything you can point to?
ZACK MARTIN:  It's just the atmosphere here at Notre Dame, first home game.  You're looking to go out there and kind of make a statement.  Emotions are flying.  You just got to do your best to take control of those.

Q.  How would you evaluate Everett's poise, just how he held is together today?
ZACK MARTIN:  I thought he played great.  Like I said before, we game planned.  If they were going to load the box, we were going to put the ball in his hand.  I think he did a great job.  He led our team all day.
When his number was called, he did a great job.

Q.  Did Tommy say anything about the boos or anything like that?  Was that talked about?
ZACK MARTIN:  No, no.  That doesn't really get under Tommy's skin.  He's been through some hard times.  People have certain opinions of him.  The great thing about him is he doesn't let it bother him.  He went out there and did his thing.

Q.  Obviously a lot of injuries today.  What do you do or say on the sideline as guys are dropping to make sure people are rallied up?
ZACK MARTIN:  Try to get the guys who are going in ready.  You know Coach Kelly's motto is 'next man in'.  I don't think there's a better example of that than today's game.  A few years before this, the game wouldn't have gone down like this, we wouldn't have won.  The resilience of those guys when their number was called, it was a full‑team effort.

Q.  Everett moved around in the pocket, does that make things easier or more difficult for you?
ZACK MARTIN:  We practice so much.  He's great on the run.  We know that's one of his strengths, he can do very well moving in the pocket.  We adjusted to that.  Like you saw today, he did a great job.

Q.  Would you mind sharing what Tommy's reaction was after the game?
ZACK MARTIN:  I mean, he was excited obviously.  He's always ready when his number's called.  Like I said, everyone's very happy.  He's been through a whole lot.  Everyone is proud of him.

Q.  Coach Kelly reiterated definitively that Everett is the starter.  Is that an important statement for him to make so there's no distractions going into next week?
ZACK MARTIN:  Yeah, I mean, Everett didn't get booted from the game.  He played a great game.  I think it was just situation, two‑minute drill.  Tommy is more of a pocket passer.  Kind of one of those things.  Everyone has a hundred percent confidence in Everett, what he does on the field.  We're ready to go with him next week.

Q.  Starting 2‑0, just talk about how exciting that is after not doing it last year.
ZACK MARTIN:  Great feeling.  Giving us momentum going on.  Tough win today, but we'll take it.  We're on to Michigan State now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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